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August 5, 2019 - Can You Keep a Secret?

Can You Keep a Secret?  The STS-28 mission, which began 30 years ago this week, was Columbia’s eighth mission, the thirtieth of the shuttle program, and the fourth devoted to the Department of Defense. Although much of its activities were classified, it is known that during the five-day mission, Columbia deployed a reconnaissance satellite in a highly-inclined orbit. A “normal” shuttle orbit more or less follows the equator, flying over the same swath of Earth on each orbit. An orbit tilted toward the poles allows a spacecraft to see more of the Earth as the Earth rotates below it on each orbit. Many military satellites take advantage of these inclined orbits. Seen here landing, Columbia also carried a special sensor pod at the top of its vertical stabilizer to measure reentry heat on the spacecraft surfaces.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

August 5 - 11, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 5

Mercury 9° south of Pollux

1930: Neil Armstrong born
1966: Final M2-F1 lifting body glide test
1969: Mariner 7 flies by Mars
: Juno spacecraft launched to Jupiter

Moon phase Tuesday 6

1961: Vostok 2 launched, first full-day human space mission, Gherman Titov first person to sleep in space
2012: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity lands on Mars

Moon phase Wednesday 7

First Qtr Moon 1:31 PM ET

1959: Explorer 6 launched
1969: Zond 7 launched
1980: Viking 1 orbiter ceases operation
1997: STS-85 Discovery launched

Moon phase Thursday 8

1978: Pioneer-Venus 2 launched
1989: Hipparcos observatory launched
1989: STS-28 Columbia launched
2001: Genesis spacecraft launched
2007: STS-118 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Friday 9

Jupiter 2° south of Moon
Mercury at greatest elongation  (19° W)

1965: First static test of SIV-B stage
1976: Luna 24 launched

Moon phase Saturday 10

1966: Lunar Orbiter I launched
1990: Magellan enters orbit around Venus
2001: STS-105 Discovery launched

Moon phase Sunday 11

Jupiter appears stationary

1960: Discoverer 13 capsule becomes first object recovered from orbit
: Vostok 3 launched

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